If you feel like you’re in a rut at work, be sure to self-evaluate, focus on one thing at a time, and identify the decision you’ve been avoiding.

Everyone has that “ho-hum” feeling at work from time to time. If you’ve been in a job for a while, you may feel stuck in a rut, bored, listless, and just generally not your self. This can affect your performance by making it harder to concentrate or cause you to procrastinate on basic job tasks. Being unproductive occasionally is a normal part of work and life. But if you’re feeling uncomfortably numb, bored, and unhappy, it’s time to try to snap out of it. Here’s how to get your groove back.

Understand What’s Going On

Perform a little self-evaluation to determine what’s bringing you down. When did you start feeling not yourself? Did something trigger your change in attitude? Is there something in your personal life affecting your professional career? Worries at home can lead to worries at work; none of this is good for your health or good for your mood.

But upon reflection, you may realize that the reason you’re down in the dumps is the job itself. There are a lot of toxic work environments out there in the world. Are you constantly being belittled or criticized? Do they appreciate your work? Are you frustrated and bored, longing for more responsibilities?

No matter the issue, the only way to pull yourself out of the rut you’re in is to recognize the problem. If the issue is emotional or physical, you may need to see a doctor. Or, it may be time to look for a new job.

Are You Burning Out?

If you’re under constant pressure at work, you could be burning out. When you have emails, and instant messages and the phone is ringing, and your boss is mad, it can overwhelm even the calmest person. If you’re spinning too many plates in your circus, it can cause your gears to just lock up. There’s a decline in productivity that can occur when you’re trying to do too many things at once. Then, when you start to fall behind, you may shut down—but not before you feel frustrated or guilty with how much you have to do but can’t seem to accomplish.

Completing a task can make you feel better, so try the art of compartmentalization. This process takes all of the tasks ahead of you and roadmaps them into priorities. Then your job is to focus on one thing at a time, get it done, and move on to the next. Do not be distracted by a text message or a call. Instead, sit down when you arrive at the office each day and block out time increments where you work on just one thing at a time. Check your email three times a day in half-hour increments. Then leave it alone until it’s time to go back to it. Set aside a chunk of time to work on a project and mute your phone during that time. Turn off your instant messaging, and, like email, go back to it in set increments throughout the day.

Try this for even one day and see how you feel at the end of eight hours.

Another thing that can make you feel better is to consider that a new job may be exactly what you need to get you out of your rut. Contact IES today. We can help.

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